Police charge Nashua couple after mishap making methamphetamine
By PAT GROSSMITH New Hampshire Union Leader
NASHUA - A Nashua man and his wife were arrested and their apartment condemned after he was burned last month while "cooking" methamphetamine inside their home and in front of their children.
Raymond Champagne, 34, formerly of 11 A Amory St., was arrested Wednesday on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine and two counts of prohibited conduct, for making the drug in the presence of his children, ages 12 and 4. His wife Melissa Champagne, 32, is also charged with two counts of prohibited conduct.
Originally, police went to the couple's apartment on Jan. 15 after a 911 call for an ambulance for a man suffering from burns to his body. Raymond Champagne was burned while trying to manufacture or cook methamphetamine using a "one pot" method, police said.
Lt. David Bailey of the Narcotics Intelligence Division said the batch of methamphetamine exploded while Raymond Champagne was making it, burning him. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of serious burns.
"It's very dangerous," Bailey said about of the way methamphetamine is made.
Police secured the premises because of the volatile nature of chemicals used in making the drug. Members of the city's Narcotics Intelligence Division and the DEA Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team also were called to the scene.
Investigators obtained a warrant and searched the apartment, which then was condemned by housing code enforcement inspectors.
Bailey said the state Department of Children, Youth and Families are involved in the case with respect to the care of the children.
Manufacturing methamphetamine is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of not more than $500,000 or both.
Prohibited conduct is punishable up to five years in prison with a fine of not more than $10,000 or both per count.
<strong>What's next:</strong>Melissa Champagne is free on $10,000 cash/surety bail pending a March 5 arraignment in 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division. Raymond Champagne was arraigned on the felony charges and is detained in jail on $15,000 cash/surety bail.